Disclaimer: The concept of and all characters from Space: Above and Beyond belong to Glen Morgan and James Wong, Fox Broadcasting and Hard Eight Productions. I'm just borrowing them. No money was made from this, and this was done totally for fun.

Feedback: Any and all comments are welcome.

Blurb: Hawkes, West, and a figth in the Tun Tavern


There was a war on.

They were supposed to be fighting their enemy, not themselves.

What surprised everyone in the Tun Tavern that afternoon was that it wasn't Hawkes who threw the first punch but West; and it wasn't even at each other. For the last two days the 58th had been teams with the 41st squadron. Everything from patrol and briefings to meals and off-time, the whole lot. They had all listened to Evans and Allen's biting insults and derogatory remarks and jokes about invitros until halfway through the first patrol Vansen had finally called for "no more radio chatter." The insults would just start again once they were docked. It became an endless cycle it seemed, or so it seemed.

Over the last six months, Hawkes, for his part, seemed to be getting better at ignoring the comments and jokes; or getting himself baited into another fight. Trying to live up to McQueen's standards, as well as not pissing off his commanding officer seemed to be the younger invitro's goal.

But, sometime on the third day, West just seemed to snap. No one was sure what finally caused it, but he hauled off and belted Allen in the jaw. The force of the blow knocked Allen to the ground and nearly broke the other pilot's jaw.

Lucky for Allen, Hawkes grabbed West. Locking his arms around the thinner, he hauled West back before he could follow through on the next punch. "What the hell you doing man?"

"Let me go, Cooper," West said through clenched teeth.

"You going to hit him again?"

West struggled against the stronger man's hold. "That's the idea."

"Then, uh uh." Hawkes relaxed a little but didn't let West go. "Leave it be."

West turned slightly so he could look Hawkes in the face. "You shouldn't have to?"

Hawkes shrugged and continued to back them up and away from Allen. He didn't get far because they were both jumped from behind by Evans.

"Stupid tanks," Evans said, punching Hawkes in the side.

Hawkes had let West go when Evans first rushed them. "You know," Hawkes commented, "I was trying to keep Nate out of the brig and Allen over there out of the morgue. Maybe shoulda just let Nate have his fun." Hawkes kicked out with his foot, knocking Evans back.

Before long there were more people involved in the brawl and then the MPs arrived.

The fighting stopped and everyone was called to attention when the Commodore walked into the Tun Tavern. "Who's responsible for this?"

Allen, holding his jaw, started to speak out first. "Sir, it was the tank."

Though West's "We were letting off steam, Sir" was a little louder and clear than Allen's comment.

The Commodore looked each and everyone of them in the eye. "Fine," he ordered, "if you lot have this much energy you can clean this place from top to bottom until it sparkles. Am I clear?"

"Sir. Yes, sir," came a dozen voices.

The Commodore spun on his heel and left. He didn't return for another three hours. This time he didn't enter, just stood at the batwing doors next to Colonel McQueen. They both watched West and Hawkes move the last table back into place.

"At least those two seem to work well with each other now."

Colonel McQueen snorted, then gave his commanding officer a nod before entering the tavern. "Must be the day for small miracles."

- end -
© Susan October 2005